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Normans, Kingdom of Sicily, Roger II, 1105 - 1154 A.D.
Roger II was King of Sicily, son of Roger I of Sicily and successor to his brother Simon. He began his rule as Count of Sicily in 1105, became Duke of Apulia and Calabria in 1127, and then King of Sicily in 1130. Roger II is remembered for having united all of the Norman conquests in Italy under one strong central government. He was also the grandfather of Frederick II.ME70465. Bronze follaro, MIR 10 135 (R2), MEC Italy III 227, F, both sides off-center, weight 1.120 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 180o, Messina mint, 1150 - 1151 A.D.; obverse half-length bust of the Virgin Orans facing, MHP - ΘV (Greek abbreviation for Mother of God) across field; reverse Arabic inscription arranged as a cross: umila five hundred forty five (struck in 545 AH), four dots arranged in a square in each quarter; very rare; $110.00 (€93.50)
Kingdom of Naples, Charles V (HRE), 1516 - 1554
Though always at war, Charles was a lover of peace. "Not greedy of territory," wrote Marcantonio Contarini in 1536, "but most greedy of peace and quiet." Charles pushed for the convocation of the Council of Trent, which began the Counter-Reformation. It was during Charles reign that Spain conquered the Aztecs of Mexico and Incas of Peru, and then extended its control across much of South and Central America. Charles provided five ships to Ferdinand Magellan whose voyage was the first circumnavigation of the Earth. He retired in 1556. The Habsburg Monarchy passed to his younger brother Ferdinand, and the Spanish Empire was inherited by his son Philip II. The two empires would remain allies until the 18th century. Charles was only 54 when he retired, but after 34 years of energetic rule he was physically exhausted and sought the peace of a monastery where he died aged 58. Charles' motto, Plus Ultra ('Further Beyond'), became the national motto of Spain.ME66323. Bronze 2 cavalli, MIR Napoli 155/1 var. (obverselegend, pellets, MIR notes legend variations and varieties with pellets exist), gF, flan flaw reverse right edge, weight 3.510 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 45o, Naples mint, obverse CAROLVS V ROM IMP (sic), bare head right, pellet under neck; reverse + REX ARAGO VTRIVS S, imperial crown, three pellets in the field above, all within inner dot circle; rare variety; $90.00 (€76.50)
Kingdom of Sicily, Henry VI (HRE), 1194 - 1197
Henry VI was King of Germany from 1190 - 1197, Holy Roman Emperor from 1191 - 1197, and King of Sicily from 1194 - 1197. In 1197, his German soldiers mercilessly suppressed a revolt in Italy, especially in southern Sicily. In this same year, Henry prepared for a Crusade, but, on 28 September, he died of malaria (or he may have been poisoned) in Messina. His son, Frederick II, inherited both the Kingdom of Sicily and the Imperial crown.ME72172. Billondirham fraction, Biaggi 1780 (R2), Spahr 2 (RR); MIR Sicily 457 (R); MEC Italy III, 477, VF, typical tight flan, slightly off-center, weight 0.944 g, maximum diameter 10.1 mm, die axis 0o, Palermo mint, 1194 - 1195; obverse Arabic legend in Nashki script: Harir / quaysar / aughust (HenryCaesarAugustus); reverse + / Z REX / SICI +; rare; $90.00 (€76.50)
Kingdom of Naples and Sicily, Charles I of Anjou, 1266 - 1285
Charles I of Anjou was the King of Sicily by conquest from 1266, though he had received it as a papal grant in 1262. He was expelled from the island in the aftermath of the Sicilian Vespers of 1282.ME66338. Billon denaro, MIR 10 347 (R3), Biaggi 493 var. (R), MEC Italy III 643, VF, weight 0.405 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 135o, Apulia, Brindisi mint, early coinage, 1266 - 1278; obverse K DEI GRA REX SCL, cross fleury; reverse + DVC AP ET PRIC CAPE, shield with lis and three pendants, flanked by two small lis; rare; $60.00 (€51.00)
Normans, Kingdom of Sicily, Roger II, 1105 - 1154 A.D.
Roger II was King of Sicily, son of Roger I of Sicily and successor to his brother Simon. He began his rule as Count of Sicily in 1105, became Duke of Apulia and Calabria in 1127, and then King of Sicily in 1130. Roger II is remembered for having united all of the Norman conquests in Italy under one strong central government. He was also the grandfather of Frederick II.ME72282. Bronze follaro, MEC Italy III 162, Biaggi 1216 (R, double follaro), Spahr 53, MIR Sicily 19 (R2), aVF, well centered, slightly rough, weight 3.643 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Messina mint, 1127 - 1130 A.D.; obverse Roger standing facing, long cross in right, globus cruciger in left, wearing crown with pendilia, R over II on left; reverse Christ seated facing on wide throne, nimbus cruciger behind head, Gospels in both hands on lap; rare; $60.00 (€51.00)
Second Bulgarian Empire, Vidin Kingdom, Ivan Stratsimir, 1356 - 1397 A.D.
Ivan Alexander divided his kingdom between his two sons. Ivan Stratsimir received Vidin. In 1365, the Hungarian King Louis I of Anjou captured Vidin. Sratsimir and his family were held captive in Croatia for four years but in 1369 Sratsimir was restored to his throne under Hungarian overlordship. After the Ottoman invasion in 1388, he was forced to acknowledge Ottoman overlordship and garrisons. In 1396 Sratsimir and his subjects aligned themselves with the anti-Ottoman Crusade led by the Hungarian king Sigismund of Luxemburg. The crusade ended in disaster at the battle of Nikopol on 25 Sep 1396. By the end of 1397 Sultan Bayezid I approached Vidin and, assured by the promise of his safety, Ivan Stratsimir came out to meet him. On the order of Bayezid I, Ivan Stratsimir was arrested and conveyed to Bursa, while the Sultan confiscated the contents of the Vidin treasury. Sratsimir's fate is unknown. Vidin was likely annexed by the Ottoman Empire in 1397, but at least part of the realm remained under the control of Sratsimir's son and heir Constantine II.
This type is described as a half grosch in older references. ME47140. Silver grosch, reduced weight; Radushev-Zhekov 1.14.4; Moushmov 7542, c. 0.50g, c. 16mm diameter, Vidin mint, 1371 - 1376 A.D.; obversenimbate half length figure of Christ, right hand raised in benediction, book of gospels in left, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iισους Xριστος - Jesus Christ) flanking Christ's head, legend around; reverse Stratsimir enthroned facing, nimbate, scepter in right, mappa in left, lis left and right, rosette between legs, legend around; VF, typical crude examples with uneven strikes and wavy flans; Forum's random selection from the same group as the coins in the photograph; one coin; rare; $55.00 (€46.75)
Kingdom of Naples and Sicily, Conrad II (Conradin), King of Jerusalem and Sicily, 1254 - 1258
Conrad II in Sicily was officially Conrad III in Jerusalem but was called "the Younger" or "the Boy," and most often the diminutive "Conradin." Conradin was an infant when he assumed the throne. Manfred his regent, although only about 18 years old, acted loyally and with vigor in the execution of his trust. However, upon a false rumor of Conradin's death, Manfred was crowned king 1258 and refused to abdicate when the rumor was proved false. Pope Clement IV defeated and killed Manfred. At age 16, Conradin was defeated and beheaded by Charles of Anjou, ending the legitimate Hohenstaufen line.ME70458. Billon denaro, MIR 10 310 (R3), MEC Italy III 590, Biaggi 482 var. (no R at end of reverselegend), Spahr 166, VF, centered, weight 0.764 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 0o, Brindisi mint, 1254 - 1258; obverse •+• C•SECVNDVS, crowned eagle facing with head left; reverse •+• IER ET SICIL'•R, cross pattée, pellet in second and third quarters; rare; $55.00 (€46.75)
Kingdom of Sicily, Charles of Anjou, 1266 - 1285
Charles received the Kingdom of Sicily as a papal grant but had to take it by force from the Hohenstaufen. In 1282, he was expelled from Sicily by rebellion. He continued to claim the island, but ruled only the peninsula from his capital at Naples. By conquest he became King of Albania in 1272, by purchase King of Jerusalem in 1277, and he inherited the Principality of Achaea in 1278.ME70461. Billon denaro, MIR 10 353 (R), Biaggi 497 (R), MEC Italy III 650, Spahr 47, VF, nice green patina, weight 0.903 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, Brindisi mint, early coinage, 1266 - 1278; obverse + K DEI GRA REX SICIL', large lis above narrow crescent with horns up; reverse + DVC APVL' ET PRNC CAP, cross fleury; rare; $50.00 (€42.50)
Kingdom of Sicily, Frederick II (HRE), 1197 - 1250
Frederick II was one of the most powerful Holy Roman Emperors of the Middle Ages. At two he was crowned King of Sicily, co-ruler with his mother Constance, the daughter of Roger II of Sicily. In 1220, he was made King of the Romans, and as such, King of Germany, of Italy, and of Burgundy. He became King of Jerusalem through marriage and the Sixth Crusade. Due to frequent disputes with the Papacy, he was excommunicated four times and Pope Gregory IX called him the Antichrist. An avid patron of science and the arts, he spoke Latin, Sicilian, German, French, Greek and Arabic.ME71878. Billon denaro, MEC Italy III 546, Spahr 116, MIR 10 278 (R3), Biaggi -, gF, grainy, weight 0.627 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, Brindisi(?) mint, 1228(?); obverse +• F• IMPERATOR•, cross pattée; reverse + •R IERSL'• ET SICIL•, large F; rare; $45.00 (€38.25)